Ncumisa Tyopo Unathi Roshe

Sunday, August 21, 2016

On who you are…

Loving and caring person. Devoted mother to a beautiful 13-year old daughter, Ntsika (Roro, Rosty, My Angel). I was born on 17th July 1982 in a small town called Umtata in the Eastern Cape. I relocated to Johannesburg in 2000 leaving behind my family; my mother, brother and two sisters. 

On running… 

I was not athletic when I was growing up. In fact I avoided physical training at all costs. However, it was compulsory to play at least 1 sport in high school, so I chose what I consider today to be a most bizarre sport, turniquet. (anyone knows  turniquet?)

On your First Run...

After waking up one day in December 2007 weighing a whopping 92.8kg, I decided to take up gym membership for the first time in my life. I was living in the South of 
Johannesburg at the time. In early 2008, it happened one day that the suburb was experiencing load-shedding and most equipment at the gym were not working. Disappointed that I could not exercise, I overheard some ladies in the gym change rooms discussing that they were going out for a run around FNB Stadium. I joined them reluctantly as I was worried that I wouldn’t cope since I had never run on the road before. We covered a distance of about 8km and coming back I was elated and in total disbelief at how strong I was still feeling. That following week on 4th April 2008 I ran my first race, the Nedbank Matha series 10km in Emmarentia where a couple of the ladies I had met were running the full marathon distance. I have never looked back since. 

On Street culture…

Runners are generally friendly and concerned for one another. I always smile and wave whenever I pass another runner on the road.

Runners also pick up and motivate one another whenever the spirits are down during a race or in training. It's what I call the ethos of our sport. It has been there since I started running  and has remained steadfast for all these years. 

When it comes to motorists and pedestrians... I have come across the kind and polite, those who make way when they see a runner. Some even greet, hoot, clap hands and spurr you on as you run past them. What about the stares, whistles and comments? Those can be bothersome at times especially when I’m running alone, but for the majority of the time I just laugh the situation off and carry on running :-) 

Unfortunately you also get rude non-runners/by-standers. I always advise fellow runners to exercise caution at all times.

Then my favorite is the Aunty who sees me running hill repeats up and down her street and immediately calls armed response to report an African woman behaving “suspiciously". And in a flash there are all sorts of armed response companies patrolling the street I'm running on. LOL

On running culture…

Running is like my life manual. In every way I look at it, running is a perfect simulation of life itself. How I run a marathon is how I deal with and overcome challenges in my life. 

I have been asked if I never get tired of talking about running and every time my answer is always the same, accompanied by a huge smile "No, I don't hey! Now, what was I saying about that hill/race/cramp/pace?" It's a bad habit which most runners I know have :-)

On gadgets…

I always run with either my Tom-Tom forerunner or Polar M400 watch to mark my routes and 
measure my distances & speed. By syncing my watch to the App I can draw stats, review my performance as well as keep track of my overall goals. 

Also, I can never go without my media player and skullcandy earphones for my solo runs. For me running is spiritual and so is the music I listen to when I am running. 

I must admit that sometimes I put on my earphones without playing any music just to avoid small conversations.

On injury…

Over the years I learned that at one point or another every sports person will pick up an injury; whether serious or minor. An injury will test the depth of your patience (Or should I say jealousy). When you see others running and you can’t, you feel down and frustrated. This happened to me when I experienced one nasty injury on the pelvis in 2014. I was 
unable to run for the best part of that year. As a result I was not at the starting line-up for the Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon. During that time I learned that listening to the doctors' instructions is crucial and that patience eventually pays off. I also learned new and interesting work-outs which were still safe for me to do  while at the same time I was able to play a supporting role to my running friends.

On achievements…

One of my greatest achievements has to be participating and finishing the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon(4 medals) and Comrades Marathon (5 medals). I also have a passion for helping others and seeing them grow in the sport. This passion led me to partnering with a colleague in 2015 to establish a running club at my workplace. I see this as my way of giving 
back to the sport. The club has been growing steadily and to-date boasts over 75 members and I was recently elected as President of the club.

On future goals…

This year my goal was to run a race in each of the nine South African Provinces. So far I have managed to run in 5 Provinces and I am still on track to complete the remaining 4 before the year ends. 

Next year, I plan on running the Victoria Falls Marathon as well as the New York or Paris Marathon. 

I also dream of running the Comrades Marathon with my daughter one day, that's if she can one day soon be persuaded to even like the sport.

On your social media…

I am

Tyopo_ec on Instagram

Ncumisa Tyopo Unathi Roshe on Facebook 

Unathi_Roshe on Twitter 

I am most active on Instagram than other social media platforms. I like interacting with people from all walks of life, across South Africa and all around the world... People who share the same passion for running and fitness. Through social media, we keep one another motivated and we exchange information, ideas and personal experiences. 

Being able to go to church with my daughter on Sundays yet still run my favourite races on the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) calendar has to be one of the most difficult balancing acts I do.

On women’s running…

Women, young and old, should run to fight common illnesses & diseases as well as to 
deal with everyday stress. 

As born nurturers, women are often renderers of service (family, friends, workplace, etc) and in the process we forget to take time out for ourselves. Running is a great way of doing something for self (self pampering). It is the much needed me-time, prayer time, singing time, quiet time to craft strategies for our multi-faceted lives. Above all, isn't running a fabulous way to keep in shape (sexy) and energized!

On the Past you…

I would say “Do not let unpleasant childhood memories about running in the dusty fields of Gxulu village and Ngangelizwe location put you off ever running again or intimidate you into thinking that you are not cut for running. Running is fun and easy. All you do is put your right foot in front of your left foot and then left foot in front of the right foot. Repeat. Hold your head high, smile and enjoy the scenery. And behold you are a runner and don't you dare let anyone tell you otherwise!” 

When I die…

I wish to die with no regrets. I want to be content and convinced that I lived my life to the fullest. That I positively impacted the lives of the people whose paths I crossed and that I made a difference. I would like to die knowing that my daughter would remember me with valuable life lessons and fond & happy memories. That I would be missed by my family and community.


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